Any advice on how to print bolts

Hey everyone.

I have been interested in printing bolts for a while now I mean who hasnt seen them in a cool tiktok video at some point. For example the following models.

But in the past I have always had the bolt and nut start to bind when screwing together. I have tried adjusting the size of the models. messing with slicer settings such as slicer tolerances in Cura and even used different printers but I always encounter the same issue. Basically the nut will reach a certain point on the bolt and not go further without forcing it. It kinda sounds like a mouse when you start forcing it :laughing: maybe it needs some grease or lubricant?

I was wondering if anyone had some tips or advice that could help me get the nut to move a bit more freely on the bolt.

Any help is much appreciated.

I had exactly the same issue previously when I tried, became a “why bother” situation. I did get some advise after I gave up, from a mate who had printed loads. He said he always adjusts the bolt down by 1-3% and the nut up by 1-3%, then use a little grease and he had never had an issue thereafter.

I am not able to confirm if this works, I have not needed anything with a bolt and nut since, but I saw his results, and they worked pretty darn well.

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Ive printed the 2 way screw by gvera and it worked perfectly. I think the model is designed with decent clearance though.

Regarding more standard nuts and bolts Ive never had a need so never tried. I have printed a lot of std female threads in parts though. Often they are a bit tight so I just run a tap through them and no problems from there.

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Hi! Thanks for the info. I did try scaling down the bolt by 2% but didnt think to scale the nut up. The scaled down bolt worked a bit better but still got stuck part way down the bolt. I currently have my printers working on a some different prints so I cant try those out at the moment. When I get a chance I will have a go and see how it turns out.

I have seen many people get good prints of the 2 way screw. I haven’t tested that on my CR-20 Pro only on the Ender 2 Pro which has been giving me some odd issue recently so that might be more printer related. Will have a go on the CR-20 Pro although I have found the auto levelling printers struggle a bit more than manual for printing objects like this but again that might just be my printers being funny haha.

Will be interesting to see the results.

I am sure i also saw that threads are quote a good example of how well setup a printer is. Probably why ive never tried again as im just not diligent enough to spend the time getting truly dialed in.

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I had the same thing happen until i discovered Curas slicing tolerance. I set it to EXCLUSIVE for any parts that have threads or require some form of mating or movement. Print a bit slower than usual. After this I haven’t had anymore issues.

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Thanks for the tip. I have tried using the Exclusion setting and it did help a bit but still got the same result. I think the next thing to try is sizing the nut up slightly.

Thanks for the advice everyone. I have been able to print some bolts successfully. I wasn’t expecting them to be really good fidget toys for my ADHD it seems :rofl:

The one model I keep trying is still binding but I think that may be an issue with the design. Will have to keep playing around with it. I cant post pictures at the moment but will do so when I get a chance.